Milton McPike

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Milton McPike
Born(1939-10-09)October 9, 1939
DiedMarch 29, 2008(2008-03-29) (aged 68)
Alma materTruman State University
Spouse(s)Sharon McPike, Ruth McPike (divorced)

Milton McPike (October 9, 1939 – March 29, 2008) was an American educator and San Francisco 49ers player, and the principal of Madison East High School for 23 years. He also served on the Board of Regents for the University of Wisconsin–Madison until his death in 2008.


Early life and education[edit]

Milton Lee McPike was born October 9, 1939 in Jacksonville, Illinois. He played high school football with boxer Ken Norton. He attended Northeast Missouri State University Teacher's College (now Truman State University) from 1958 to 1962. While there, he earned 12 letters in basketball, track and football.[1]


In 1962, he was a 12th-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers. Following his NFL experience, McPike taught and coached sports for 11 years in Quincy, Illinois.

In 1974, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he served as vice principal of Madison West High School for five years. In 1979, he was appointed principal of Madison East High School. Under his leadership at East, the school gained a reputation for academic focus and was recognized as a National School of Excellence in 1989. He retired as principal in 2002.[2] The Madison East High School Fieldhouse was named after McPike in 2005.[3]

McPike served on several hospital and foundation boards and was named to the UW Board of Regents in 2004, resigning as regent in March 2008 for health reasons.[4]

Marriage and children[edit]

McPike and his wife Sharon, had no children together. McPike had three sons (Milton Jr., Jeff and Jim) with his first wife Ruth. Sharon had three children (Scott, Kimberly and Rebecca) from a previous marriage.

Death and afterward[edit]

McPike died on March 29, 2008 in Madison, Wisconsin of adenocystic carcinoma.[5]


  • 1990: named one of ten "American Heroes in Education" by Reader's Digest[6]
  • 1997: Wisconsin State Principal of the Year[7]
  • 2007: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award[8]


  1. ^ "Truman Announces 1900-1999 All-Century Football Team". 2000-09-26.
  2. ^ "East HS Principal McPike to Retire". Madison Metropolitan School District Public Information Office. 2002-02-06. Archived from the original on 2004-09-01.
  3. ^ "Fieldhouse At East To Be Named For McPike". Wisconsin State Journal. 2005-05-22. p. D12.
  4. ^ Perez, Erica (2008-03-31). "Former Regent McPike dedicated to education". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
  5. ^ Kalk Derby, Samara (2008-03-31). "'A truly great man': Milt McPike dies at 68". The Capital Times.
  6. ^ Bartzen, Kate (1990-07-23). "Principal in Madison proves his high school teacher wrong". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. ...McPike, East High School's principal, who was named one of 10 "American Heroes in Education" this year by Reader's Digest.
  7. ^ "Madison East Principal Honored". St. Paul Pioneer Press. 1997-07-10. p. 3B. A principal credited for bringing an academic focus to high school troubled by discipline problems is Wisconsin's new principal of the year. ...the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators is recognizing McPike as one of the best thing that ever happened to East.
  8. ^ "Madison Memorial Senior Among Humanitarian Award Recipients". WISC-TV. 2007-01-16. Archived from the original on 2007-01-18.

External links[edit]